HOUSTON, Texas — Department of Homeland Security Secretary (DHS) Jeh Johnson is pushing for the agency to create “Southcom,” a southern-based command to manage resources.
Southcom would aim to decrease illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border and make it easier for officials to crack down on criminals, according to the Washington Times. The command would reportedly work to help Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) collaborate more effectively.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Obama Administration will likely not act on the creation of Southcom until after November’s midterm elections.
Breitbart Texas Contributing Editor and border security expert Sylvia Longmire said of Southcom, “It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Secretary Johnson is exploring the concept of a larger joint command for the southwest border. In fact, a smaller version of what he envisions, called the Joint Field Command in southern Arizona, has been in operation for a few years. It has also been very successful at combining intelligence collection efforts and deconflicting information flow to CBP and Border Patrol.”
She pointed out, “The concern about further militarizing the border is always going to crop up any time a structural change is proposed that even remotely resembles the Department of Defense. However, there’s no other law enforcement agency in the country with a mission like CBP’s mission, and the strategies and resources they require for dealing with international threats warrants structure and operations that are going to look a bit different than the NYPD or LAPD.”
Creating a successful Southcom will not be an easy task; DHS has had issues with transparency and efficiency in the past. But according to Longmire, the very fact that DHS has proposed Southcom is a good sign.
“Johnson has a lot of hoops to jump through to make this a reality,” Longmire said. “Given DHS’ track record when it comes to efficiency and accountability, there’s always the potential for a unified border command to just make things worse between agencies. But just the fact that DHS is thinking about making such a drastic change means top leadership is acknowledging that what’s in place now isn’t working.”
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